Anglia Ruskin University
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An analysis of the concept of a politico-ecological self in the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Martin Heidegger

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posted on 2023-08-30, 18:52 authored by Stephen J. Coote
The thesis explored the concept of the ‘politico-ecological self’, through the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) and Martin Heidegger (1889-1976). The choice of research orientation was influenced by two considerations: firstly, the intercourse between Politics and Ecology is arguably more under strain now than ever before; secondly, analysis of the relationship between these two thinkers is sorely under-represented in contemporary academia. The research involved an examination of seminal texts by Rousseau and Heidegger: in the case of the former, the principal political texts were the Discourses and Social Contract and the principal ecological text was Les Rêveries du Promeneur Solitaire; in the latter case, the principal political text was Being and Time and the principal ecological text, The Question Concerning Technology. Common ground emerged between Rousseau and Heidegger, centered upon the concept of holism which offered a remedy for both political and ecological problems. Two principal conclusions emerged from the thesis: firstly, the point of convergence and reconciliation between the competing demands of Politics and Ecology centered upon the hybrid self of the thesis title; secondly, in both Rousseau and Heidegger, the apotheosis of that self came about through the process of its S/self-realisation.



Anglia Ruskin University

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